By Dave B.
In I Am Mother (Netflix), humanity has been wiped out after a devastating war against their robot creations. In one remote facility, a robot (Mother) tasked with caring for and preserving human life begins to fulfill its programming by restarting the human race. She raises a child (named Daughter) from infancy up to her teenage years and everything is going smoothly until a mysterious stranger (Hilary Swank) arrives at the lab, desperate for help. Daughter, having been taught that the outside environment is toxic and that humanity is extinct, seeks to bond with the new arrival. But she soon discovers that her idyllic existence is not what it seems and Mother has been hiding horrifying truth’s from her.
I’ve been extremely critical of Netflix science-fiction movies in the past. Most of them have decent premises and good special effects, but largely fail in execution, often because the writers of them assume that their audiences are stupid. I Am Mother does not fall into that trap at all. It’s well-acted, visually compelling (in a very stark/sparse/bleak way), and (most importantly for me when it comes to science-fiction) written intelligently for an audience that is assumed capable of figuring things out for themselves. It clocks in at just under two hours long, but it’s easy to watch and immerse oneself into despite its dearth of action and slow-pace.
Although I wouldn’t pay to see I Am Mother in a theater, it’s a good addition to any streaming service and represents a much needed improvement in Netflix’s science-fiction movie offerings (Netflix’s science-fiction TV shows have generally been much better with a few exceptions, most notably the first season of Lost in Space). Fans of thoughtful science-fiction should definitely add I Am Mother to their watchlists. However, it’s relative lack of activity, limited settings, and extremely small (but talented) cast, means that this movie may lack broader appeal. In other words, if this movie sounds appealing to you, consider watching it by yourself and only recommend it to a select few.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.